Luxuria or: Does Brioche Belong in the World of the Breakfast Sandwich?


II Luxuria (n.) – self-indulgent sexual desire.

It is a sin of the flesh rather than that of the spirit. It manifests as the abuse of primal desires, the same desires that the legendary square Thomas Aquinas called the ‘gravest of sins.’ The desire Dante said blew the afflicted like a hurricane in that particular circle of hell. I’m talking of course about the desire for soft, buttery brioche. Make a sandwich out of it? I’m in.

There are few lustier bread product than a quality brioche. It’s unbelievably soft, made with eggs and butter, and may be one of the few breads that can be eaten as is without worry of side eyes or questions asked. Bite directly into a plain bagel without schmear, jam, butter, or even a light toasting, and you’ll be run out of town. But do the same to a brioche and folks will ask where you bought it. Typically brioche is thought of as the key to excellent French toast and bread pudding. Some even skip formalities and throw chocolate, candied fruits, and caramel right in the bread itself before baking and eat it right out of the oven. When I heard that Bandit on the north edge of the Tenderloin serves savory breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns, I was skeptical and needed to investigate. 


Known more for their burgers, they also have quite a few breakfast sandwich options (they once called them “breakwiches” which was annoying, but have since come to their senses). I decided on The Bandit and a homemade horchata cold brew. On paper, the sandwich is awesome and checks every box of what makes a quality breakfast sandwich. The orangish-yellow border of the muenster cheese melts into the crispy edges of the fried egg to the point where you don’t know where one begins and the other ends. This scene is watched by thick bacon, avocado, aioli, and arugula (arugula is usually give or take for me, but it works pretty well here). But none of that is the principle reason for why you would stop into Bandit for your breakfast sandwich fix rather than just any spot in San Francisco. That itch that needs scratching, that desire rather than the need is what the brioche breakfast sandwiches will satisfy, and Bandit will leave you fulfilled.


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